My Kind Of Targeted Traffic, Cheap

There are two types of tools I sometime use to bring multitudes of people to my Web site--with little or no risk to my pocketbook: pay-per-click (PPC) search engines and affiliate programs.

PPC search engines are great, if you've done your homework and chosen the keywords people will use to find you in the search engines. Using them can easily attract visitors who are interested in what you have to offer, often for just a few pennies.

Affiliate programs is another great way to get tons of interested visitors to your site by having other people promoting your site for you. And the best part is you don't pay a dime unless the visitors referred by your affiliates buy your product. Once we take a closer look at these tools, I will show you a cool way to combine these two techniques.

Using PPC Search Engines

True to their name, pay-per-click search engines, cost a premium every time a visitor clicks on your link--anything from a few cents to a few dollars.

There are three advantages to bidding on keywords in the pay-per-clicks:

1. You get effective advertising, because you only pay when someone actually clicks through to your site.

2. Your listing will get posted quickly--anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days at the most--meaning you can start profiting from increased traffic and sales almost immediately.

3. In order to rank in the No. 1 position, all you have to do is outbid your competitors, which is usually only a matter of a few pennies per click.

Done right, pay-per-click advertising can be very profitable but if not, you can lose quite a lot of money. Here are a few tips to help ensure your campaigns are profitable:

· Avoid keywords that are too general. More general keywords will attract a lot of traffic, driving up the cost of your PPC campaign and converting few visitors to sales because general search terms aren't specific enough to attract the right audience.

· Ensure that the sales process on your site is converting visitors to buyers before you launch a full-scale PPC campaign. You don't want to be spending money on getting the traffic if your site can't produce sales.

· Make sure you calculate how much you can afford to bid on keywords to guarantee you still turn a profit. To determine how much you can afford to bid, you'll need to understand the value of each visitor to your site. It's generally easiest to calculate these numbers on a monthly basis.

Once you understand the value of your visitors, you'll be able to set your maximum bid for keywords. The value of your visitors may also help you determine which PPC search engines you'll use, as the minimum bid on keywords in some search engines may be higher than in others.

Using Affiliate Programs

Now let's shift our focus to a more powerful tool, and one that I strongly recommend as a key strategy to direct massive amounts of qualified traffic to your site...without spending a dime up front.

An affiliate program or also known as a reseller or associate program is the best way to get others to promote your product or service. Your affiliates send visitors to your site using banner ads, text links, letters of referral, and other methods of promotion. Then you track these visitors using special software. For every visitor who decides to buy, you pay your affiliate a commission.

It's an extremely profitable way to grow your business because:

· It's a win-win partnership, so enlisting an army of affiliates to promote your product is extremely easy.

· There are no up-front advertising costs because you only pay your affiliates for advertising that gets you sales. Whether they send 10 visitors a day to your site or 10,000, you only pay them a commission for each sale made.

· It's extremely low-risk. Setting up your own affiliate program doesn't cost much at all if you're prepared to do some work yourself.

· You can literally explode your online sales by enlisting an army of affiliates to promote your product or service for you. Since you know your product or service better than anyone else providing your affiliates with banners, product images, text links, and so on will allow them to get started promoting faster and more effectively.

The best strategies to motivate your affiliates to promote your product pay them for their efforts. If the commissions aren't attractive enough, your affiliates won't be motivated. Additional incentives will be need, such as bonuses for a certain number of sales.

Combining these tools for Even Bigger Profits

Now what you been waiting for, an extremely effective way to combine the two strategies and boost the flow of targeted visitors to your site.

Here's all you do: Encourage your affiliates to try bidding on your keywords to market your product or service in the PPC search engines. You might think this would drive up bidding costs and you'll wind up actually competing for PPC placement against people who are supposed to be working for you. But the fact is, encouraging your affiliates to bid on your keywords can help get you a lot more exposure in the search results!

Now imagine you have a handful of affiliates using the same keywords as you. People enter their search term and your site appears in the results. But instead of being surrounded by links to your competitors' sites, you're surrounded by more links to your own site.

By using this strategy, you're taking up valuable search engine "real estate." The more of these real estate you occupy with your product, the less space there will be for your competitors' product--and the more likely it is that a shopper is going to see your product and buy it.

There's no need to worry that your affiliates could outbid you, or drive up the costs of your PPC advertising because the most important thing to remember about your affiliates is that they're your business partners, working with you to market your product and or service. Competing with them for a top spot is counterproductive, especially since your goal is to occupy as much of the search engine results page as you can with links to your site.

If your affiliates are taking the initiative to advertise on your behalf in the PPC search engines, don't waste your money outbidding them. Instead, your goal should be to outbid your competition, not your affiliates, for top placement in the PPC search engine results.

Darryl Power over 3 years in online marketing, 1 year in Pay-Per-Click advertising and 7 years of business management.

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